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BBC TwoNewsnight Review
Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Newsnight Review 12 May, 2006
Presented by Kirsty Wark

With guests:
Sarah Churchwell
John Carey
Sarfraz Manzoor
Rowan Pelling
Sarah Churchwell
John Carey
Sarfraz Manzoor
Rowan Pelling

This week
  • DOWN IN THE VALLEY
  • SEE NO EVIL
  • ENEMIES
  • ROUND-UP: THE BIG GAY READ WINNER
  • UNDERCOVER SURREALISM


    Down in the Valley

    Down in the Valley is a crime story set at the edge of the San Fernando Valley, a seedy place where horse ranches and freeways meet to create a cultural no man's land.

    View more images from Down in the Valley

    High school senior Tobe (Evan Rachel Wood) and her brother Lonnie (Rory Culkin) live a bleak existence with their controlling father, Wade (David Morse), a corrections officer.

    On vacation from school, Tobe takes a trip to the beach with her friends. A chance encounter at the gas station turns into a life changing experience when she starts up a relationship with Harlan (Edward Norton), a captivating, often unpredictable drifter who thinks and acts like a gun-toting cowboy.

    The film is written and directed by David Jacobson who was previously nominated for three Independent Spirit awards for another of his films, Dahmer.

    David Jacobson said: "To be writing about a place whose major cultural achievement is the 12-lane free way, while in a lovely Rococo setting is either insane or just perfect."

    The Review panel discuss whether an update of the Western genre can be translated into modern day California.

  • CERTIFICATE 15
  • DOWN IN THE VALLEY IS ON GENERAL RELEASE FROM 26 MAY 2006


    See No Evil: The Moors Murders
    ITV1

    Forty years after one of the most infamous murder trials in history, this is the first television dramatisation about Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, who became notorious in the 1960s for torturing and killing five children in the Manchester area, and burying their bodies on Saddleworth Moor.

    View more images from See No Evil: The Moors Murders

    Unsurprisingly, the production has caused some controversy and protest - not least from Brady himself who wrote to the Home Office to request it be dropped from the schedules, citing the upset it would cause the victims' families. The producers expect that Brady may appeal again before the programme airs.

    ITV Productions has made it clear that See No Evil: The Moors Murders was made through consultation with the deceased's relatives. The narrative is from the point of view of Myra Hindley's sister Maureen and her husband Dave Smith, who weren't aware of the killing spree at the time.

    Ultimately it was Dave Smith that reported the couple to the police which lead to their eventual trial and conviction.

    Maxine Peake plays Myra Hindley and Sean Harris plays Ian Brady.

    In the Autumn, Channel 4 will be screening another drama about Myra Hindley and her relationship with Lord Longford, starring Samantha Morton and Jim Broadbent. Myra Hindley died in 2002 and Ian Brady remains in Merseyside's high security Ashworth Hospital.

    The commissioning of these programmes brings into question issues of dramatising serial killers. Beverly Allitt was recently portrayed by Charlie Brooks in Angel of Death on BBC ONE and Harold Shipman was played by James Bolam in Prescription for Murder on ITV1 in 2002.

    Are all these cases fair material for television entertainment?

  • SEE NO EVIL: THE MOORS MURDERS IS ON ITV1 ON SUNDAY 14 MAY AT 9.30PM AND CONCLUDES ON MONDAY 15 MAY AT 9PM


    Enemies
    By Maxim Gorky, adapted by David Hare
    The Almeida Theatre, London

    View more images from Enemies at the Almeida Theatre, London

    Directed by Artistic Director Michael Attenborough, Enemies is set in provincial Russia on the verge of revolution and focuses on a struggle between workers and industrialists.

    The liberal-minded owner finds himself out of his depth when his business partner is killed in a scuffle with one of the factory workers, and the ensuing investigation uncovers a rising political fervour among the workers, as well as tensions within his own family.

    Maxim Gorky was a novelist and playwright who counted Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov among his friends.

    David Hare
    David Hare
    He was a radical who championed the poor and underprivileged in both his art and his politics, and after being involved in an armed uprising in Moscow just before the Revolution in 1905, came under the scrutiny of the authorities. He wrote Enemies while in exile in America the following year.

    In the programme for this production, David Hare writes about the play's relevance today - he says it "raises questions which have been ringing around the first five years of the 21st century, just as they rang round the first five years of the 20th" - but will our critics agree?

  • ENEMIES IS AT THE ALMEIDA THEATRE, LONDON UNTIL 24 JUNE


    round-up
    The Big Gay Read winner
    Armistead Maupin

    Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City emerged as the UK's favourite gay themed book.

    The Big Gay Read
    25,000 votes were cast online in the Queer Up North festival's The Big Gay Read. The top 10 was dominated by recent British work with Stella Duffy, Sarah Waters, Alan Hollinghurst and Patrick Gayle all making an appearance.

    But it was Maupin's 1978 work, which followed a varied cast of San Franciscans and spawned a series of six novels, which topped the poll.

    He told Newsnight Review:

    "I appreciate this award because it does let me know that the books have reached people in terms of explaining the gay experience to them, or explaining their own experience if they happen to be gay, making them feel less alone. I understand the value of that, but at the same time I have always been writing for everyone and about everyone and I think that's the power of Tales of the City, precisely that it's the whole big messy tapestry of life, including gay people and that's what gay people are looking for."

    He also gives Newsnight Review an exclusive preview of his new novel Michael Tolliver Lives.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE AWARD AND THE FESTIVAL:

  • www.biggayread.com
  • www.queerupnorth.com


    Undercover Surrealism:
    Picasso, Miro, Masson and the vision of Georges Bataille
    The Hayward Gallery, London

    This major exhibition looks at the Surrealist movement in the late 1920s through the eyes of the philosopher and erotic writer Georges Bataille and his radical magazine Documents.

    View more images from Undercover Surrealism

    Documents was launched in Paris in 1929 at the time when Surrealism was the dominant avant-garde movement.

    Under Bataille, the magazine was conceived as a "war machine against received ideas".

    It brought together a mixture of radical philosophy, art, archaeology, ethnography and, through articles and visual links, it confronted the Surrealist movement by juxtaposing unexpected objects, like Picasso's Three Dancers with Hollywood film, and photographs of Parisian slaughterhouses with Andre Masson's paintings.

    Documents ran for just 15 issues until its financial backer withdrew funding because he felt the magazine went too far. Bataille himself described himself as Surrealism's "enemy within".

    The magazine's principle of juxtaposition is brought to life in the exhibition, with many of the magazine's subjects on show, including a room full of Picassos - the only artist to have an entire edition of the magazine dedicated to him - along with paintings by Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Andre Masson as well as film, music, African Janus heads, photography and sculpture.

  • UNDERCOVER SURREALISM IS AT THE HAYWARD GALLERY, LONDON UNTIL 30 JULY


    Newsnight Review is broadcast after Newsnight every Friday at 11pm on BBC Two.

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